Saturday February 18, 2017
Why do these tiny squid have two completely different eyes?
more stories from this episode
- Do certain sounds make you want to punch someone?
- NHL targets concussion science in legal fight with players
- Why do these tiny squid have two completely different eyes?
- SpaceX is sending a drug resistant superbug to space
- Seagrass is vital to marine life and human health
- Quirks & Questions: Can moon mining change tides on earth?
- Full Episode
Down in the depths of the Pacific Ocean known as the 'twilight zone,' lives a family of weird looking squid with mismatched eyes. One eye is flat and black. The other eye is bulging and yellow.
Duke University biologist Katie Thomas wanted to find a reason for the mismatched eyes. While interning at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, she combed through over 25 years worth of deep sea footage.
She discovered that these squids' eyes are adapted to two different light sources. The smaller black eye mostly looks down to keep an eye out for high-contrast flashes of bioluminescence. The larger, yellow eye tilts upwards to keep an eye on the dark, dim water above. The bigger eye has increased sensitivity to faint sunlight from above. And it's yellow to filter out the colour blue, so it can better detect prey and predators above.